Over the past two years I have been marketing chimineas both wholesale and retail. As one of the first stores in my area (central and western Massachusetts) to offer chimineas there was a lot of trial and error in choosing styles, distributors and marketing techniques. Being the first guy on the block with these “clay fire pots” was definitely exciting but it was also a lot of work.
Chimineas were flying out of our stores!
Even when other retailers began to carry chimineas people still came to us. We were the chiminea KINGS! You see there is much more to selling chimineas than taking peoples money and putting it in their car. They want to know how to use them. Are there any accessories? How do I take care of my chiminea? Even the big chain stores like Target™ and Lowes™ couldn’t compete.
As soon as we began to carry the chiminea accessories the chiminea business skyrocketed! You see people like to do all of their shopping at one location. It’s not worth their time to buy a chiminea from you and then go elsewhere for a cover, stand, lid or spark arrestor. Even if they could buy the chiminea somewhere else for less we were the “chiminea headquarters.”
We saw that chimineas were going to stay popular for a long time so we began to research distributors in our area. That wasn’t a tough job as most of them had heard about us so the few distributors that were around were stopping in trying to get our business.
This is when we realized that we knew more about chimineas than those supplying us. It all went back to when we decided we wanted to carry chimineas at our retail stores. We spent countless hours researching and talking to retailers who were already carrying them. We researched everything from types of clay to sizes. Heck, we didn’t want to offer a low end product when our stores are known for quality.
So as new distributors jumped on the chiminea bandwagon we found we were showing them the ropes. Supplying them with literature and advising on what add on products they should be offering.
When it came right down to it we were helping to build their business! That’s when it happened! We already knew what the consumers wanted. We had discovered the best way to market chimineas. We had the best literature and brochures and we were already wholesaling to several other retailers.
We were the ultimate chiminea supplier!!!
The exhaustive search for the best chiminea manufacturer was on! It wasn’t easy to find the best broker or manufacturer. Phone call after phone call we were having pictures faxed to us almost daily. Many never even returned our calls. It was a challenge. The work paid off! After over 8 months of searching I met the owner of one of the largest Chiminea manufacturing companies in Mexico. He had the largest variety and his quality was excellent. Unfortunately he did not sell Chimineas in the US. He had concentrated his marketing efforts in Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom. He didn’t have the time to make a big splash elsewhere. This is when we realized we could help each other. I had the contacts in the United States and he had the ability to produce the product. Chimineas Inc. was formed.
Today we are the US marketing arm for one of the largest manufacturers in Mexico. We deal in container/trailer load quantity shipped directly from the factory to you. Our prices are excellent and many of our styles are not available anywhere else. This gives you a very unique selling position.
What does the retailer want?
Since we are a retailer we know what they need to effectively market chimineas. What does this mean to a potential distributor? Well, if your customers have a supplier that can give them the best prices for the highest quality and…and this is a huge AND, give them a turn key system for selling their chimineas everyone wins!
Why are we so different than all the other suppliers?
Well, even if we didn’t have the best product at a great price we do something else that is just as important. We supply the know how. A selection unparalleled and a diverse line of accessories. Imagine approaching your current customers or new ones with a turn key system. Add on items that flat out sell and the capability to supply them FAST! Game over. YOU both win!